FAC clears 43 proposals for diversion of forest land

Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam chairing FAC meeting on Wednesday.

CS reviews restoration plan for Wular Lake

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Oct 16: The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) headed by Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam in its 117th meeting cleared 43 proposals regarding use of 271 hectares of forest land for various projects of public importance in the road, drinking water, power and civil aviation sectors on specified terms and conditions.
Financial Commissioner Revenue, Principal Secretary Planning Development & Monitoring Department, Commissioner/Secretary Forest, Ecology & Environment Department, Commissioner/Secretary, PDD, Commissioner/Secretary, PHE and I&FC,  Principal Chief Conservator of Forests J&K/ Director Soil and Water Conservation Department, J&K, Director Environment and Remote Sensing Department, J&K, Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, Chief Conservator of Forests/ Member Secretary FAC, Environmentalists Dr S P Dutta and  Dr G A Bhat, other senior officers of Forest and PMGSY and representatives of User Agencies participated in the meeting.
The proposals cleared today include use of forest land for laying of 132/KV Double Circuit Badampora – Bandipora transmission line by PDD, Under Ground Cabling of power supply at Patnitop by PDD, laying of 11 KV (HT) for Rural Electrification at Kathila in Udhampur by PDD, construction of 2.50 MV 220/33 KV Grid Station at Nagrota by PDD, construction of 20,000 Gallons GSR at Thanger under Water Supply Scheme Tallian Kala Chang in Nowshera by PHE Department, drilling of Tube Wells at Choglamsar under UIDSSMT in Leh, laying of Optical Fibre by Reliance Info Comm in Kalidhar in Jammu and Chatroo Synthan State Highway in Marwah, relocation of Army Ammunition Depot in Samba, construction of Rod from Dhamunda Morh to Jai via Manthla Kakool in Bhaderwah by PWD R&B Department and various road proposals under PMGSY  in Kishtwar, Doda,  Shopian, Anantnag, Reasi, Rajouri, Udhampur, Samba and Kathua, districts  and other critical infrastructure.
The Forest Advisory Committee also accorded in principle approval for development of judicial infrastructure for High Court in Jammu and felling of trees coming in the upgradation of Four Lane section of NH-144 A of Jammu Akhnoor road.
Three proposals in the road sector were deferred with a direction to the user agency to revisit the alignment so as to reduce the number of tress to bare minimum.
While reiterating the directions on ensuring bare minimum felling of trees, Chief Secretary stressed on meaningful and effective monitoring of the works being undertaken in the forest areas. He asked the Forest department to include non-governmental member(s) in the Monitoring Committees constituted for the purpose.
Chief Secretary also directed the Chief Engineers of PMGSY to complete the roads by June 2020, so as to connect the remote pockets of Jammu and Kashmir as envisaged under these projects.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary reviewed the progress made on conservation and eco-restoration of Wular Lake by the Wular Conservation & Management Authority (WUCMA).
While emphasizing upon the importance of conservation and eco-restoration of Wular Lake- a declared Ramsar site which is also critical for flood management in Kashmir Valley, Chief Secretary directed WUCMA to complete 100% demarcation work of the of Lake boundary along-with the installation of geo-tagged boundary pillars. He asked WUCMA to strengthen its monitoring mechanism to identify and prevent any encroachment of the Lake.
Chief Secretary asked Forest Department to examine the feasibility of a foreshore road project along the entire Wular Lake perimeter. “The foreshore will act as a permanent boundary, prevent encroachment of the Lake, connect all the villages along the Lake perimeter besides enabling scenic view of the Lake” he said.